KOLAR: The state-level Dalit Sahithya Sammelan, organised for the first time by the Kannada Sahithya Parishat in its 105-year history, saw hundreds of Dalit poets and writers from across the state participate in the two-day event being held at the Channaiah Ranga Mandira here.
Though the city witnessed rain on the opening day on Saturday, the sammelan, being held at the Dr B R Ambedkar Vedike, went on unhindered. Dalit poet and Rajya Sabha member L Hanumanthaiah, in his presidential address, urged the Union and state governments to declare the flood in north Karnataka as a national disaster.
The Centre should release adequate funds as lakhs of people have suffered, he said. He also appealed to the gathering to join hands and help the affected people.
Hanumanthaiah also recalled the contributions of great Dalit poets like Ambika Chowdaiah, Madhara Doolaiah, Hadapada Abbanna, Nuliya Chandaya and Siddrama who had opposed ill-treatment and atrocities on Dalits through their vachanas in the 12th century.
Sharing their views with TNSE, noted poets Dr Siddalingaiah, K B Siddaiah and others felt the Sammelan will help Dalit poets showcase their talents. There are hundreds of Dalit poets and writers whose works are very rich and they should be provided an opportunity through such meets. Such events should also be conducted at the taluk, district, state and national levels, they felt. On the first day of the event, five books on poetry and literature by different authors were released. Kolar MP S. Muniswamy said Kolar district is the parental home (thavaru mane) of Dalit literature. The Dalit Sammelan should be held every year in a grand manner, he added.
Earlier, the meet commenced with the hoisting of the Sammelan flag and garlanding of the statues of Dr Ambedkar and Mahatma Gandhi.